Valencia College has donated $30,000 worth of culinary equipment to the Second Harvest Food Bank. This equipment was previously used by our culinary students on the West Campus and was replaced when the program moved to its new home at the Downtown Campus.
“It’s simply not just about giving for the Valencia College Facilities and Culinary departments; it’s about making a difference in our community,” shared James Traola, project manager, facilities. “This culinary equipment will get a second life while providing growth and learning to countless disadvantaged individuals. Furthermore, Valencia College Facilities continues to be ‘green’ in our unshakeable commitment to sustainability in all of our projects,” James added as he explained that this new life for the equipment will reduce waste compared to going to a landfill, which globally is responsible for over 10% of all methane emissions.
Second Harvest will use the equipment in its Central Kitchen and Culinary Training Program, a free,16-week program that welcomes adult students from different walks of life who have had some sort of hardship in their background, ranging from being underemployed to, in some cases, homelessness.
The donated metal and wooden tables, the hood, dish machine and heating cabinets will be used by Second Harvest’s Plates of Plenty program, which serves school-aged children (Head Start, 4C and other Orange County programs) and seniors.
“With the growing need due to the COVID pandemic, we have had to increase our production of meals going to these demographics, explained Jill Holland, general manager of Second Harvest’s Catering for Good. “The added equipment will help us as we expand this very needed program.”
Additionally, Second Harvest will use the linens, plate ware, plate carts, heating cabinets, proofers and bread oven to grow it’s Catering for Good department when the community is ready to once again host corporate meetings and larger celebrations such as birthdays, retirement parties and wedding receptions.
The bread/pizza oven, fryer, floor mixer, proofing cabinets, Waring stand mixers, bakers scales and analog scales will make a huge impact in the lessons of the organization’s culinary students.
“For the longest time, we have wanted to teach baking classes on how to make breads and how to use a proofer. We are so excited to be able to teach on these generous donations from Valencia.”